The CHL Import Draft took place this morning with 72 players being drafted across 54 OHL, QMJHL and WHL teams. The Barrie Colts had the first overall pick, and snatched up the potential 2018 NHL first overall draft pick in Andrei Svechnikov, who had been playing his junior hockey for Muskegon of the USHL before this season. The Colts will pair Svechnikov with their 2016 CHL first rounder Alexei Lipanov (TOR).
50 forwards and 22 defensemen were selected. Russia led the way with 19 draftees, followed by the Czech Republic (15) and Sweden (8). Prospects from Slovakia, Belarus, Germany, Finland, France, Switzerland, Slovenia and Denmark were also drafted.
Notable NHL 2017 Draftees:
Timothy Liljegren – Niagara Ice Dogs (OHL): Niagara selected Liljegren with the 12th pick of the Import Draft, but it's unlikely that he will make his way to North America, opting instead to stay with his club in Sweden. There was quote from Liljegren today (posted via @EliteProspects and @hockeymag) that said "it (Niagara) is not an option right now" and added that he had not spoken with the club yet.
Martin Necas – Saginaw Spirit (OHL): Carolina's first rounder was selected ninth overall by Saginaw in the CHL Import draft's first round. Whether or not he comes to North America this season is up in the air. It was widely suggested that he would remain in Europe this season, but Saginaw posted a story today that he would be attended their training camp in August. Later in the afternoon, that post was amended and that fact retracted.
Filip Chytil – North Bay Battalion (OHL): Yet another first rounder to an OHL team, Chytil was drafted by the Rangers with the 21st pick of the 2017 NHL Draft, and was scooped up by North Bay with the Import Draft's sixth overall pick. It's unknown at this point whether he will be joining the team in the fall.
Alexei Toropchenko (4th Overall) – Guelph Storm – Drafted by the St. Louis Blues (113th Overall)
Alexandre Texier (17th Overall) – Baie-Comeau – Drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets (45th Overall)
Joni Ikonen (28th Overall) – Hamilton Bulldogs – Drafted by the Montreal Canadiens (58th Overall)
Jan Drozg (41st Overall) – Shawinigan Cataractes – Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins (152nd Overall)
Ostap Safin (53rd Overall) – Saint John Sea Dogs – Drafted by the Edmonton Oilers (115th Overall)
Obviously Svechnikov leads the group of Import Draftee's who are eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft, but there are 36 others who are eligible to be drafted. In addition to Svechnikov, a couple names to remember are Alexander Khovanov and Filip Zadina (among others)
For a complete breakdown of how the Import Draft concluded, check out: http://chl.ca/article/2017-chl-import-draft-results
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